Let them eat (everything but) cake

To the person who bought me the “Baby Bullet,” thank you for contributing to my collection of smoothie-making devices. There was a short time when I actually used this device to make wholesome purees from only the freshest, local produce I could find.  Dicing, steaming, blending, such was my life in the early stages of baby feeding.

Shortly after starting this process, I noticed that my baby would grab hold of my hand whilst being fed and reach for food off of my plate, and it occurred to me that a new approach to this whole baby food thing was in order.

At some point since starting solids, I came across the concept of baby-led weaning.  As the name implies, baby-led weaning is offering your child a variety of safe, whole foods to try at his or her own pace. From a convenience standpoint, I loved the idea. No more dicing, steaming and blending? Hooray! And when I saw how eager my son was to try so many foods, from avocado to kale, I was thrilled. I would place a bit of whatever I was eating on his high chair tray and gave him the freedom to explore, throw and, eventually, taste the food.

There were times when my son seemed to have little interest in what I put in front of him. Knowing that breast milk was his main source of nutrition, I didn’t push him to finish his food. And while this might seem like a sign of picky-eater, I learned that he knows what he needs. Just as women crave certain foods to satisfy nutritional needs, so too do babies prefer certain foods to meet their nutritional requirements.

Now that my son is almost a year old, his appetite has grown immensely. I am amazed at how, without any prompting, he will gobble up his meals, And on those days when he isn’t much in the mood for anything other than breast milk, I oblige and satisfy his hunger with nursing.

With childhood obesity a huge issue, its hard not to worry about encouraging good eating habits. I believe I gave my son a good start, and I can only hope he keeps it up.  But, if he craves the occasional treat, I think I can keep it in balance.

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